International Equal Pay Day

16 September 2021

On November 2019 the UN General Assembly established September 18th as the International Equal Pay Day. The focus of this celebration is to promote new changes towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value across all sectors. With its second edition taking place on 2021, the emphasis this year will be to assure that equal pay remains an urgent matter globally.

The International Equal Pay Day fits into the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically into the goal number 8, “decent work and economic growth”, with the ultimate goal of achieving equal pay for work of equal value for all men and women, including the youth and people with disabilities.

In the sports context, women are generally paid less than men, from the playing fields into the boardrooms. One of the most mediatic cases is the USWNT Equal Pay case against the US Soccer Federation, in which the two parts are still looking for an agreement that suits both sides. On September 15th the USWNT Players Association announced that the latest proposal offered by the USSF does not fulfill the players needs.

Nevertheless, the football world has witnessed some changes regarding unequal pay in the last years, with some Football Associations arranging some changes to pay their male and female footballers equal match rates, such as the Brazilian, Australian or the recently announced Irish Football Association.

It is important to remember that the Equal Pay battle is one that needs of the commitment of both men and women. A great example could be the case of the Men’s Norwegian National Team, which agreed to reduce their salaries from the Norwegian Football Federation in favour of their female counterparts, so they could all receive equal pay with their respective national teams.

There are still many more steps to be taken in order to achieve Equal Pay for work of equal value, but from Show Racism the Red Card we find the International Equal Pay Day a great opportunity to reflect on this relevant issue that affects women worldwide.

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